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Cast, of Robert Burns' skull

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Cast of Robert Burns' skull

Introduction:
This cast of Robert Burns skull was made on 31 March 1834. His wife, Jean Armour Burns has died and was to be buried beside him in Burns' Mausoleum. The mausoleum was opened and the cast made from the poet's remains.
Image Rights Holder:
Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service
Ref:
DUMFM:0198.129
Project:
39:Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway
Material:
Plaster
Dimensions:
Base - width: 205 mm, depth: 230 mm, height: 10 mm
What:
Cast, of Robert Burns' skull
Subject:
The phrenological examination was reported to have 'laid stress on the circumference of the skull, 22 1/2 inches, and what must have been an extremely active brain'.
Who:
James Fraser of James Kerr (Plasterers) (maker of cast)
Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) (owner (three casts taken of Burns's skull when the Mausoleum was opened following the death of Jean Armour Burns))
When:
31 March 1834
Where:
Robert Burns Centre, Dumfries & Galloway
Background:
The phrenological examination was reported to have 'laid stress on the circumference of the skull, 22 1/2 inches, and what must have been an extremely active brain'.
Description:
The cast was made to satisfy a contemporary interest in the characteristics of the skulls of great men. This was an aspect of the pseudo science of phrenology which attempted to explain differences in personality by the shape of the skull.